The West Linn Tidings has been recognized as the second best weekly newspaper in the state.

The Tidings received the sought-after award in the category of general excellence. The Elmo Smith Award for general excellence is the most coveted Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association honor because it evaluates the entire paper, not just one story or page.

For five of the past six years, the Tidings has placed in the top four in general excellence among Oregon's top weekly newspapers.

West Linn's local newspaper was honored with its second-place win Friday among 11 awards it received during ONPA's annual convention at the Resort at the Mountain in Welches.

'This is a tremendous honor for the Tidings staff,' said Publisher J. Brian Monihan. 'A ton of effort goes into producing a newspaper, and these awards are validation for all that hard work.'

The awards were based on work completed during 2005, and judged by members of the Mississippi Press Association earlier this summer.

First place

Reporter Nicole DeCosta earned first place in the best silk purse story category, for a first-person account of her adventures while searching for a 'Desperate Housewives' story by talking with women who live on Wisteria Road in West Linn.

Second place

Editor Tracy Stepp and Photographer Vern Uyetake, page one design.

Uyetake, best section-front or inside-page design; best feature photo, best photo essay.

DeCosta, best enterprise reporting.

Third place

Uyetake, best headline writing, best photo essay.

Reporter Jim Hart, best enterprise reporting.

Staff, best special section or issue (Old Time Fair).

Sister newspapers

As a shared photographer with the Lake Oswego Review, Uyetake won a first-place award for best section-front or inside-page design, and swept the graphics category, taking first, second and third places.

Cliff Newell, currently a features writer for the Tidings and Review, won a first-place award in the best feature story category while reporting in 2005 for the Forest Grove News-Times.

Lee van der Voo, city reporter for the Review and an occasional Tidings reporter, earned first place in public service journalism for her Review series on Oswego Lake.

Review and Tidings Sports Reporter Matthew Sherman won third place for best sports story.

Review and Tidings Columnist Barb Randall was awarded third place for best local column.

Former Tidings and Review Reporter Julie Russell won third place for best feature story.

Former Tidings Editor Ray Pitz won a third-place award for best education coverage in his new position as reporter for the Beaverton Valley Times.

The Review, which shares newsroom facilities and some staff members with the Tidings, captured 17 ONPA awards.

Community Newspapers publications and the Portland Tribune, which are locally owned by Pamplin Media Group, collected 92 awards in all ONPA categories this year.

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